MLJ Trust Logo Image
Sermon #3091

Union with Christ

A Sermon on Romans 6:3


Romans 6:3 ESV KJV
Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? (ESV)

Sermon Description

In this sermon on Romans 6:3 titled “Union with Christ,” Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones breaks down several thoughts or viewpoints concerning baptism, including the Catholic and Protestant views. In addition, he also discusses several views within each belief. In Romans 6:3, it almost seems like Paul is stating that baptism into Christ is baptism in His death. Dr. Lloyd-Jones warns that if one is stumbling over specifics in the varying viewpoints, they could potentially miss the glories that baptism represents. The most glorious aspect of baptism is that Christians are in Christ and He is in them. The saved were once in Adam and dead because of sin, but their union with Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection is shown through baptism. This means that the final salvation is guaranteed. Whatever viewpoint is held, the Christian must always acknowledge that they are literally united with Christ and baptism shows a united nature with Him.

Sermon Breakdown

  1. The sermon begins by introducing Romans 6:3 which states "Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death?". Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that this verse introduces the doctrine of union with Christ which the apostle Paul elaborates on in this passage.

  2. Dr. Lloyd-Jones addresses five common interpretations of "baptized" in this verse and explains why each interpretation is inadequate:

  3. The sacramental interpretation which views baptism as accomplishing union with Christ. This is rejected because baptism in the New Testament is for those who have already believed, not to accomplish belief.

  4. The view that "baptized" refers to baptismal vows. This is rejected because the verse is referring to something that has happened to us, not something we do. Union with Christ is not accomplished by our actions or vows.

  5. The view that "baptized" means coming under the influence of Christ. This is rejected because the verse teaches a union with Christ, not just coming under his influence.

  6. The view that "baptized" refers to belief in Christ's death as atoning for our sins. This is rejected because the verse teaches our union with Christ in his death, burial and resurrection, not just belief in his death.

  7. The view that baptism is a symbolic representation of our union with Christ. This is rejected because the verse states we were buried with Christ "through baptism", not just that baptism represents this. Also, baptism does not represent crucifixion with Christ which is part of our union with him.

  8. Dr. Lloyd-Jones proposes that the "baptism" being referred to is Spirit baptism which joins us to Christ, not water baptism. This is supported by 1 Corinthians 12:13. Dr. Lloyd-Jones argues that water baptism does not accomplish or even fully represent our union with Christ.

  9. Dr. Lloyd-Jones notes that Paul assumes all Christians understand this doctrine of union with Christ, as evidenced by his rhetorical question "Know ye not?". This shows that union with Christ is fundamental to Christianity, not an advanced doctrine. Paul taught this even to the Galatians, showing it is important for evangelism and discipleship.

  10. The phrase "so many of us" refers to all Christians. Every Christian is united to Christ. There are only two categories: in Adam or in Christ. There is no middle ground.

  11. We are baptized into Christ himself, not just parts of him or his work. We receive all of Christ - wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. We are complete in him, though we experience this more fully over time.

  12. Everything true of Christ is true of us because we are in him, just as everything true of Adam became true of us because we were in him. We are in Christ's death, resurrection, and life.

The Book of Romans

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

Dr. Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981) was a Welsh evangelical minister who preached and taught in the Reformed tradition. His principal ministry was at Westminster Chapel, in central London, from 1939-1968, where he delivered multi-year expositions on books of the bible such as Romans, Ephesians and the Gospel of John. In addition to the MLJ Trust’s collection of 1,600 of these sermons in audio format, most of these great sermon series are available in book form (including a 14 volume collection of the Romans sermons), as are other series such as "Spiritual Depression", "Studies in the Sermon on the Mount" and "Great Biblical Doctrines". He is considered by many evangelical leaders today to be an authority on biblical truth and the sufficiency of Scripture.